Should You Seed Slice This Spring?
Fred Newcombe
Pros of Seed slicing 

Are you wondering whether you should seed slice this spring or aerate? Since aerators can bring weeds seeds up to the surface, seed slicing can be a great alternative. A slice seeder (also known as a slit seeder) cuts small slits into the soil. Then, grass seed is deposited into the cut rows. This process provides great seed-to-soil contact to help with germination, minimize soil disruption, and reduce the risk of exposing weed seeds in your lawns. 

Slice seeding is an excellent way to get bare areas to take seed as you can ‘slice’ into the soil in multiple directions. Additionally, slice seeding is an effective way to establish new lawns alternatively to using sod. Sod is costly and labor intensive and results in a ‘sod layer’ that can inhibit good root formation through the soil profile. 


Cons of Seed Slicing 

It’s important to note that seed slicing does not address compaction. Therefore, lawns should still be aerated and overseeded in the fall as needed. Further, slice seeding is not an ideal approach to overseeding very well established turf areas. Slice seeding is designed to help establish new lawns or turf stands. Therefore, if you already have a well performing turf area, slice seeding may not have the desired effect of introducing new turf species (because the lawn or field is already highly competitive with well-established turf).

diagram of how seed slicer makes cuts in soil and deposits grass seed to help determine should you seed slice this spring

The Importance of Grass Seed

In an Organic Turf Care (OTC) program, the best all-natural weed control is grass seed. Soil temperature, germination timeframes, and pH all affect growing healthy grass. In the Northeast, the window to overseed caps by the end of May. Should you seed slice this spring, choosing the right grass seed blend is important. Whether dealing with residential or athletic fields, the goal is to get coverage as quickly as possible. Remember: quick coverage helps suppress weeds.